Looking for a little insight from any veterans. Is there any issues with VA benefits being sent to the island banks, and how are the banks themselves? How are the VA clinics on the islands?
I'm a vet as well, (100% T/P disabled) I'd be willing to bet there wouldn't be a problem with any of the banks, after all USVI is a territory of the US. There is also a federal credit union if you have a DD2765 military ID. (A Brown ID card) there shouldn't be a problem joining a credit union, better service, cheaper loans. That's what I'm planning to do so I can have a local bank account. One vet to another, you might want to consider an international banking account with Schwab, you can use it anywhere in the world, best part is, they reimburse ATM charges, which add up outside the US, that alone makes it worth while. I have my VA benefits deposited with Schwab..
I won't be arriving on the USVI until May 3rd, but from what I've been hearing, where are you going to find a really "great" VA medical center? The VA medical system on USVI is about the same as it is anywhere, that's what I've been picking up from asking other vets on the island.
From what I've found out about the banks on the USVI, the Banko Popular (A Puerto Rican bank, the largest I think) charges an insane interest rate for a car loan, 10% or 11%. That's where a credit union comes in handy.
Have you looked into transferring your medical records to the VA Caribbean Medical System, HQ'd in Puerto Rico? The USVI is under the umbrella of the Puerto Rico VA system. Most likely it will take 6 months for our records to be transfer there. I know of other vets who transferred to a VA medical center in Florida and fly there for appointments and treatment, but those guys live in Central America, they don't have the option of a VA clinic or hospital. But still that might be an option for us to consider. I'm hoping to find out more about this as other vets give their answers and help.
For a back-up I have Medicare with a supplement to take care of co-pay charges, no out of pocket expenses, you might want to consider that option as well. The VA is great, but it's hard for me to have complete faith when the VA is mandated to provide the least expensive medical care. I feel all veterans deserve the same level of medical care the President receives..
I hope to see you when we get there.
If you are on Medicare go to USAA for a Plan F supplement. Great on-line banking as well.
I'm also 100% P/T, so making sure I choose the right bank is important. Not looking for anything spectacular from the VA, just wanted to make sure the locations on the islands are reliable in terms of filling my scripts and the occasional visit? I do not have the DD2765, but I'll definitely be checking into it. Thanks for the advise.
DanielB_STX, Yes I do receive Medicare, never used it, but keep it just in case. Can you go into a little more detail on the supplement and their (USAA) banking, if you actually use it?
You really should get one, it's like our old military ID's but are brown. With the ID you can go on any military base in the world, shop at the commissary. use MWR anywhere in the world. MWR (moral welfare recreation) You can visit the Naval base in Key West, get a 1 or 2 bedroom place with everything needed for a stay even a kitchen and you are right on the beach.
Ask you local VARO for the documentation you need, basically it's proof you are 100%, they you go to the nearest military to get your ID. I know is a hassle, but one worthwhile
I've been a USAA member for more than 15 years and love the services that they give. The plan F supplement is terrific, reasonable cost (less than AARP) and it covers everything, even here on STX. If you use the debit card that they will give you (if you have good credit) they will pay the ATM charges which I think is five per month. I signed up with them when they started accepting enlisted ranks quite a few years ago. I've been out of the service for over 50 years and still grateful for the services of USAA. Their rates for Car Insurance can't be beat and it's approved for the VI.
We use USAA , it is great !
Car insurance rates / coverage can't be beat .
We also still use Navy Federal for some banking , in fact I closed my local First Bank account a few years ago ... Just no need for it .
I wish USAA would offer homeowners insurance in the USVI....
My hubby's experience with the VA clinic on St. Croix has been good . He said it is just as good as in Florida .
they will pay the ATM charges which I think is five per month
$15 per month...
if you CAN bank (and insure) with USAA, you should; they are an amazing company.
My vote is USAA also. I have all my banking through them and didn't even think about opening an account with one of the local banks. You can also have your auto insurance and investment accounts with them. Can't do Life or Home Insurance as of now but for everything else they are gold. The customer service when it comes to banking and insurance is second to none in my opinion.
Good info here!!
I have been with USAA for over 25 yrs. Will look into the banking option; currently using a fed credit union.
Also good to hear about the VA. I have never used that part of my benefits because I have always had employer health ins.
Are VA business or home loans available in VI?
home loans available in VI?
I got my house with a zero down VA loan... in fact at the closing they cut ME a check (all the lawyers were in a mild state of shock... hahaha)
nearly no house will pass VA inspection on the first go, but it's doable with a few minor fixes generally.